I finally finished all PvE zones in Guild Wars 2 with my main. 100% across the board with only a handful of points left in WvW before I get my Gifts of Exploration. I feel like now I can “just do whatever”. It’s an odd feeling, but I love hitting exploration achievements in any MMO. They call to me. I had to hit every heart, vista, and waypoint in every zone.
Each MMO, including Guild Wars 2, has driving factors. Sometimes they are called “carrots”. Sometimes they are “sticks”. Some of the driving factors are so ingrained that it’s considered that thing to be done. When that mark is checked is it a loss of drive or a release of pressure?
For a moment it was a loss of drive. Have I just won Guild Wars 2? I love open world PvE the best, but I am still a fan of the other ways to play. Obviously I had to start playing more WvW to get my purplish Gifts. I still had most of the story mode dungeons left, and I hadn’t compelted my personal story. I still have plenty to do apart from the long road to a legendary weapon. First stop, buy some rare miniatures to sacrifice to that damn genie.
How much does ArenaNet have a hand in driving pressure? For instance the character select screen has a few empty spaces for completing all the order initiations and equipping a legendary weapon. Every time a player logs in they will be reminded of things to do. There are temporary one-time events to take part in. New achievements appear with new events and jumping puzzles.
The monthly achievement is also a good driving force. Salvaging items used to be such a big deal that by the end of the month people were scouring the trading post for stuff to destroy. Now that pressure is gone replaced by a bunch of ???’s instead. Another new monthly entry is completing five dungeons, which Zubon noted has caused a bit of a reaction. At the same token, the pressure I feel from monthly achievements are slight. I missed last month because I was too busy to head into WvW.
I feel like I am getting closer to the point where instead of feeling a strong drive I log-in and decide “yes, that sounds fun.” I am warping up to take down the Claw of Jormag a lot more because I enjoy that happy hour with my server. I do Troll’s End in Lion’s Arch pretty much daily because it gives decent loot, and I like that it is so centrally located. The gold per hour there is not that great, especially compared to running Orr events or being on a winning side in WvW.
I feel ArenaNet was too conservative with un-Orrian loot. Want level 80 loot? Go to Orr. I don’t understand why I am not getting level 80 drops on my level 80 everywhere else. In one part, ArenaNet seems to reward simply playing everywhere. Event rewards are pretty good outside of Orr. On the other hand, they make one area it. I am hoping with the big November update we start to see more decompression of rewards in open world PvE. They’ve already made an iterative pass on jumping puzzle rewards to make loot better for the harder puzzles.
Sometimes I long for the days in Guild Wars where the pressure was so slight because all my goals were for the long haul. The Guild Wars 2 legendary weapon falls in to that category. Right now things are hopping. In two weekends there will be another “must-see” event. I am still in that phase where I don’t want to miss any. Then Wintersday will come. ArenaNet is making sure to keep a good amount of pressure on.